20 Things People Do That Indicate That They Are Faking To Be Smart

Published 2 years ago

Some folks believe that knowing a thing or two makes them superior to others, and they show off their knowledge as if they were born intelligent. Do you know anyone in your circle who refuses to admit that they don’t know something and always tries to debate with their limited knowledge and perspective? Isn’t it annoying to be around such cringe-worthy people?

Someone who is truly intelligent never really brags about being smart. This Reddit thread sheds light upon those signs that expose pseudo-intellectuals, scroll below to read some of those red flags.

More info: Reddit

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They repeat what you already said, in a slightly different way, and act as if they’re adding to the discussion.

They defensively tell people to “read a book” instead of answering a question.

Image source: Kancer420, Mikhail Nilov


They talk constantly and say nothing.

Image source: Bhanghai, Monstera


Using a Ben Shapiro style structure to arguing a point

* Speak fast
* Construct straw men as fast as they get taken down
* Win through endurance over intellect
* Deflect, obfuscate, infuriate – Just get the other person to stop debating

Image source: escape1979uk, Gage Skidmore


They refuse to explain something in an easier/more understandable way when asked

Image source: ctortan, SHVETS production


They say “educate yourself” but don’t know the difference between blind peer reviewed studies and YouTube nonsense.

Image source: anon


If they listen to the usual Incel Mentors: Ben Shapiro, Jordan Peterson, or any other online troll that sees differing opinions as a debate challenge and an affront to society.

Image source: RevaniteN7, Gage Skidmore


Making a series of discussion-worthy points about a topic. When responded to, selects one of three responses for an “auto victory” in their eyes:

1) (RARE) They see that of 6 points they raised, you only directly addressed 5, they declare you couldn’t handle that extra point (even if it rested on the other 5 points being all perfectly true) and therefor they win the conversation. [This is rare because it requires them to read longer than the few words it takes to realize you disagree.]

2) (Average) They repeat what they said the first time and claim you didn’t address any of their points because there is no response to them, they are objectively correct.

3) (Frequent) “Post too long bro. Not gonna read it. Clearly I’m right if you can’t refute what I said in only a few words.”

Image source: Mazon_Del, Armin Rimoldi


They hyper-focus on a single source of wisdom or completely ignore their opponent’s perspective.

Actual intellectuals read broadly, and the best intellectuals read things they disagree with.

Edit: Talking about “read things they disagree with”… There is a difference between reading the influential works of opposing movements and browsing social media cesspools. I am disappointed that I have to clutter this post by clarifying.

Image source: Jeutnarg, Keira Burton


For me, it’s seeing people who can’t shift their beliefs/biases based on evidence

Image source: meandering_simpleton, Keira Burton


In internet debates, the trend in the past few years was just to just say, ‘I’m not reading all that’ when they encounter an argument they can’t counter.

Image source: Anianna, Mizuno K


They don’t validate the experiences of others, which are often backed by science or data, if they haven’t been through it themselves.

Image source: anon, SHVETS production


They can’t say they don’t know something. When pressed, they will deflect or fake their way through it. Somebody actually knowledgeable (no matter in what area) will also know the limits of their knowledge, and have the confidence to identify it when they reach it.

Image source: chton, Karolina Grabowska


Really intelligent people are very secure in their intelligence but fakers will most likely be trying to put others down to seem smarter.

Image source: prettiergenghis, Budgeron Bach


When they tell you their IQ. And it’s always suspiciously high.

Image source: TrashPandaAntics, Liza Summer


They debate and don’t let anyone else speak, and when someone does try to speak, the other person just talks louder and faster.

Image source: https://www.reddit.com/user/usedxtampon/, Alex Green


Being a contrarian. Automatically disagreeing with everything you hear isn’t any smarter than than believing everything.

Image source: boooooooooo_cowboys, Tima Miroshnichenko


Pseudo-intellectuals **love** to drop names of famous experts in the field, and will often do that in lieu of a real explanation when challenged to explain themselves.

For example, “If you’re not familiar with the research of Lawrence and Krasden in this field, then it’s not worth my time to educate you”.

In general, pseudo-intellectuals don’t like explaining concepts, because they’re afraid that they’ll explain the concept incorrectly and get shown up by somebody else. So they use all sorts of tactics to establish dominance, try to belittle you, and avoid giving a clearly worded explanation of their argument.

Image source: Bizarre_Protuberance, ANTONI SHKRABA


Image source: Sorvick, Ketut Subiyanto

They absolutely cannot fess up to their own mistakes.


They like to “debate” but shut down and get angry the second they get an unexpected question or have to think about their answer.

Image source: verysleepymama,Timur Weber


They parrot talking points without being able to discuss or understand the details of their arguments. Seen it all across the political spectrum. If all you are able to communicate are Twitter-length bullet points, then there is something wrong. I’ve tried to talk with people who are like a NPC in a video game, all they can do is repeat the same 3 generic statements on a topic.

Similar to above the other sign is that their opinions are 100% exactly the same as either some person, movement, or religion. No nuance, no “shades of grey”, not even a slight disagreement on a particular point or two. Basically you have turned off your brain and someone else is thinking for you.

Image source: Warthog__, Yan Krukov

Saumya Ratan

Saumya is an explorer of all things beautiful, quirky, and heartwarming. With her knack for art, design, photography, fun trivia, and internet humor, she takes you on a journey through the lighter side of pop culture.

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imposters, people, people acting smart, people faking intelligence, people pretending to be intellectual, pseudo intellectual
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